China just launched an all new warship on June 28. It is a huge guided-missile destroyer and is an achievement in naval technology. This naval destroyer is also seen as a challenge to China’s rivals, including India. The ship, called as the Type 055 class, is a massive step in China’s military modernisation, according to the country’ government websites. People’s Liberation Army Navy website said, “It is the symbol of the Navy to achieve strategic transformation development.” It is a 10,000-ton ship, fully developed in China. PLA Navy’s website says that the warship breaks novel grounds for China in terms of design as well as a collection of large naval vessels. Even the armaments contained in the destroyer are also new for the country’s navy.
The Chinese warship contains within itself, new types of air defense systems like anti-ship, anti-missile, and anti-submarine warfare weapons. The Type 055, in terms of size, can be compared to the newest warships present in Asian waters, even by countries like South Korea, Japan, and the US, according to several experts. Meanwhile, alarms have been raised over the launch, where the media has pointed out that the warship is superior to other ships in the Asian continent. An NDTV report said that the “colossal Type 055” is much bigger and powerful than Indian destroyers, even those which have still not been commissioned yet. Meanwhile, China’s wish to become a blue-water navy, and an increasingly assertive stance over disputed territory in the South China Sea, has unnerved its neighbours. Here are a few facts about China’s Type 055 naval destroyer.
1. The vessel can carry 100 missiles: The new warship will have more than 100 vertical launch tubes for missiles with the ability to strike targets 1,000 to 2,000 kilometres away, according to the PLA report. Type 055 weighs around 13,000 tonnes when fully fitted out with its weapon systems and commissioned, making it the country’s largest destroyer, Li Jie, a researcher with the PLA Naval Military Academic Research Institute, said in a February article on the PLA’s website. The Type 055 will be a central part of future Chinese aircraft carrier battle groups, Li said in the article.
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2. Military analyst Kyle Mizokami had written in Popular Mechanics that the Type 055 seems similar to the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, which debuted in the 1980s and carry 96 missiles each. The new Indian destroyers will be at least 2,000 tonnes lighter than the Chinese ship and will carry fewer than half the missiles of Type 055, Reuters reported.
3. China is producing warships at a rapid rate as it modernises its navy, which has been taking an increasingly prominent role among the country’s armed forces. State media has said that the Navy commissioned 18 ships, including destroyers, corvettes and guided-missile frigates in 2016.
4. State-run Global Times newspaper informed that the warship could be the first Type 055 destroyer, that can be considered a successor class to the smaller Type 052D guided missile destroyers, which the country is still producing.
5. China claims almost all of the South China Sea, which apparently has huge deposits of oil and gas. Around $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year, and China has been building up military facilities like this which is seen as a big threat to its neighbours.